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It's Not You, It's Your Anti-Pattern


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Presentation by Ed Stojakovic and Fran Diamond at Midwest UX in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October 18, 2013. We talk briefly about the origin of patterns in architecture and design, then application of patterns, and the emergence of anti-patterns as a response to understand project or team problems. Last, we talk in detail about 5 anti-patterns that are applicable to the UX working environment.

Published in: Business, Technology

It's Not You, It's Your Anti-Pattern

  1. 1. it’s not you. it’s your antipattern. Fran Diamond Edward Stojakovic @frandiam @estojakovic #antipatterns @midwestUX
  2. 2. agenda why patterns what are antipatterns? UX antipatterns What are patterns? Why do we use them? So then, what are antipatterns? 5 UX environment antipatterns 2
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. why patterns 4
  5. 5. PATTERNS IN OUR DAILY LIVES Fractals Pattern Libraries 5
  6. 6. Applied Patterns Myers-Briggs Fran is INTJ Ed is ENTJ Christopher Alexander “A Pattern Language” 6
  7. 7. An architectural pattern Credit: Visit Hillborough |
  8. 8. A typical interface design pattern
  9. 9. ...but then what are “antipatterns” 9
  10. 10. ANTIPATTERNS What you care about narrowly broadly Design / Architecture Human Behavior / Worklife 10 What you can affect
  11. 11. difficult person… applied antipatterns 11 supporting structure
  12. 12. always starts with good intentions software industry Costs applied to project failures other industries Communications Finance Technology Personnel Work Environments 12
  13. 13. Why it matters to UX can be really tricky We are less mature industry Separate our contribution from environment 13
  14. 14. finding antipatterns 1. research 2. personal experience 3. interviews 4. identification 5. survey confirmation 6. review / summary 14
  15. 15. a template <antipattern name> 1.  Central Concept 2.  Dysfunction 3.  Vignette 4.  Explanation 5.  Band-aid 6.  Self-repair 7.  Refactoring 8.  Observations 9.  identification 15
  16. 16. 5 UX environment antipatterns 16
  17. 17. Narcissus Analysis 1 Team consults a narrow set of standards and/or competitor’s work to address project needs without looking to outside frameworks or consumer input 17
  18. 18. Credit: Cea |
  19. 19. > Narcissus Analysis Re-set the objectives to be more than simply meet standards Don’t assume that competitors set the standards Consider heuristics as baseline but not the end of the analysis Involve consumers in analysis 20
  20. 20. Process Clash 2 Friction arises when advocates of different processes must work together without a proven hybrid process 21
  21. 21. > Process Clash Re-training & cross-training to develop a “third way” process to incorporate best of both worlds. Communication & straightforward acknowledgement of different approaches to make decisions more transparent and help both sides feel their approach is being heard and used. Accept different teams bring value 24
  22. 22. Fairness Doctrine 3 Blind obsession with fairness and uniformity in management becomes an excuse for not dealing with difficult or problematic people 25
  23. 23. 27
  24. 24. > Fairness Doctrine There will always be poor performers-deal with problems directly and quickly. Teams often do not have inherent power or authority to remove ineffective members; they need management support to do so. 28
  25. 25. Kiosk City 4 Data/document sharing is key to a team’s work but given the plethora of ways to share documents creates confusion and lack of adoption. 29
  26. 26. Kiosk City Allow each project and new team member as a chance to determine how best to share documents. Focus on deliverables rather than interim work. Even though project is over, capture all documents in a common place 32
  27. 27. Moral Hazard 5 Insulating a decision-maker from the consequences of their decision 33
  28. 28. Moral Hazard It’s not a problem, it’s a policy!
  29. 29. > Moral Hazard Know who is responsible and who is accountable Beware the morally compromised leader CYA or see-ya 36
  30. 30. + Maybe it is the environment Empathy wins summary - Maybe it is you! We don’t always have control 37
  31. 31. contact We’d love to hear from you #antipatterns twitter @frandiam edward.stojakovic 38 email fran.diamond Leo Burnett Chicago @estojakovic